Latter-day Counsel


There is ample evidence that rock music is offensive to the spirit and affects adversely the spirituality of members...rock music is purposely designed to push immorality, narcotics, revolution, atheism, and nihilism...rock music festivals are among Satan's greatest successes. The legendary orgies of Greece and Rome cannot compare to the monumental obscenities found in these cesspools of drugs, immorality, rebellion, and pornophonic sound...Rock music, with its instant physical appeal, is an ideal door-crasher. His sounds come from the dark world of drugs, immorality, obscenity, and anarchy...Many parents have simply turned the musical education of their children over to the local rock radio station, with increasingly unpleasant results. President Ezra Taft Benson

We live in a wicked world. Never in our memory have the forces of evil been arrayed in such deadly formation. The devil is well organized. Never in our day has he had so many emissaries working for him. Through his many agents, his satanic majesty has proclaimed his intentions to destroy one whole generation of our choice young people.
Elder Ezra Taft Benson (October 1971)

Evidence of the dastardly work of evil forces is increasingly evident. On every side we see the sad and heart-rending results. The devil-inspired destructive forces are present in our literature, in our art, in the movies, on the radio, in our dress, in our dances, on the TV screen, and even in our modern, so-called popular music. Satan uses many tools to weaken and destroy the home and family and especially our young people. Today, as never before, it seems the devil's thrust is directed at our youth.
Elder Ezra Taft Benson (October 1971)

A letter from a concerned father about the evil effects of some popular music is one of many. I quote from this well-informed teacher of youth: "Music creates atmosphere. Atmosphere creates environment. Environment influences behavior. What are the mechanics of this process? "Rhythm is the most physical element in music. It is the only element in music that can exist in bodily movement without benefit of sound. A mind dulled by drugs or alcohol can still respond to the beat. "Loudness adds to muddling the mind. Sound magnified to the threshold of pain is of such physical violence as to block the higher processes of thought and reason. (And turning down the volume of this destructive music does not remove the other evils.) ... "Repetition to the extreme is another primitive rock device. ..."Gyrations, a twin to rock rhythm, are such that even clean hands and a pure heart cannot misinterpret their insinuations. ..."Darkness [and dimmed lights] is another facet of the rock scene. It is a black mass that deadens the conscience in a mask of anonymity. Identity lost in darkness shrinks from the normal feelings of responsibility. "Strobe lights split the darkness in blinding shafts that reduce resistance like the lights of an interrogator's third degree or the swinging pendulum of the hypnotist who would control your behavior. ..."The whole psychedelic design [this father continues] is a swinging door to drugs, sex, rebellion, and Godlessness. Combined with the screaming obscenities of the lyrics, this mesmerizing music has borne the fruit of filth. Leaders of the rock society readily proclaim their degeneracy. "And the most diabolical deceit of this infamy is that it denies evil to be an absolute. Our religion is one of absolutes and cannot be rationalized into a relativistic philosophy of the `liberal Mormons.' We cannot safely rationalize away righteousness.

"What could be more misguided than fear that `if rock music were not endorsed by our leaders, we may lose many young people.' (MIA music committee.) Even now we are losing them to the songs of Satan, drugs, sex, riot, and apostasy. We could be well reminded by a message from the Mormon Miracle pageant: `Moroni knew that you cannot compromise with evil. If you do, evil always wins.'" (Richard Nibley, excerpts from letter.) Elder Ezra Taft Benson (October 1971)